bake - February 2018 - 26

like Dr. Heather Darby, extension agronomist at the
University of Vermont, are playing influential roles in
the future of wheat.
Working with Darby and her team, the Northern Grain
Growers Association is involved in hundreds of test
plots every year in which bakers get samples to mill
flour and bake bread for blind taste tests. George and
Hamelman are directly involved in the baking tests.
"If we say the bake is great, but the farmer says the
yield is terrible, it's not a win-win," Hamelman says.
"What works is when the breeder suggests varietals
that work well for the farmer and the bakers, and then
all three parties are giving a thumbs-up. The best
thing that is going to happen is if we have a lot of
regional movements, testing for different markets."
That's exactly what happened when Hamelman
suggested a few years ago that King Arthur Flour
form a partnership with The Bread Lab run by Dr.
Stephen Jones at Washington State University. The
Bread Lab is a combination think-tank and baking
laboratory where scientists, bakers, chefs, farmers,
maltsters, brewers, distillers and millers experiment
with improved flavor, nutrition and functionality of
regional and obscure wheats, barley, other small
grains and beans.
The Bread Lab began in 2011 in a small laboratory
in the Washington State University Mount Vernon
Research Center. Today, it occupies 12,000 square
feet at the Port of Skagit and includes the Bread
Lab research and baking kitchen, a cytology lab, and
the King Arthur Flour Baking School at the Bread
Lab. Last year, they expanded with a milling laboratory and professional kitchen.
Baker-miller Andrew Heyn, who owns Elmore
Mountain Bread in Elmore, Vermont, with his wife,
Blair Marvin, says local grains are increasingly important to the future of bread. And this messaging resonates increasingly well with today's consumers.
"The baker can draw that line: I baked it, I milled it,
and I bought it from this farmer," says Heyn. Adds
Marvin: "I believe this bread should be accessible to
everyone - all income levels and tastes."

26 < FEB 2018 |

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